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Metro in Talks to Buy Union Station?

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, December 10, 2010, at 02:08PM
Union Station Eric Richardson

The 1939 Union Station building (bottom left) is located just across the railroad tracks from Metro's headquarters at One Gateway Plaza (top right).

Could Metro be in talks to buy Los Angeles' historic Union Station?

While neither the transit agency nor current owner Prologis would offer any details, a mysterious item on the closed session agenda at this week's Metro Board of Directors meeting hints at talks.

Roger Moliere, the agency's chief executive for Real Property Management & Development, is listed as the negotiator on a deal involving "800 North Alameda Street," the address of the 1939 station. Under discussion were "terms and payment," according to the item.

While that's non-specific language, the station is definitely on the market. Prologis recently told shareholders that it intends to sell all of its non-industrial properties within the next year. While she would not speak to any specific negotiations regarding Union Station, Prologis spokeswoman Mo Sheahan confirmed Friday that the company was aiming to complete a sale in early 2011.

The facility is a major hub for Metro, and its role is only expected to grow with the addition of High-Speed Rail. The transit agency has funded some improvements to the station in the past, but has never been in direct control of the facility.

Prologis acquired the station in 2005 when it purchased Catellus Development Corp., the real estate company formed out of land owned by the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad.

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